Psychotherapists and Counsellors Answer your Questions

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  • Urja Refalo
    I first came to psychotherapy in the early eighties. At this time I started my own personal journey by joining therapy groups, partaking in individual therapy and attending personal development trainings. Choosing psychotherapy as a profession became a natural step in my life’s journey, where I could then offer my support and presence, something of what I had been given in my own search for meaning and ‘who I am’....
  • Robyn Price
    Psychotherapy eventually found me. The seed was planted many years ago as I recovered from a bout of depression in my university days. The catalyst for recovery was a creative dance class run by a woman who would become one of Australia's Dance Therapy pioneers, Hanny Exiner. Through her classes, I discovered the healing power of movement, creativity, connection and dance making. I continued to dance, study and teach dance, at the same time as building a career in marketing communications, I began my Dance Movement Therapy (DMT)...
  • Karen Druce
    My family of origin experiences growing up formed the bedrock of my desire to understand individual differences, personal temperament, human suffering and resilience in the face of life’s storms. ...
  • Kate Mikhailouskaya
    Many personal and professional experiences contributed to my choice of becoming a therapist. It's a life-long process and it's ongoing, but what remains unchangeable is my passion to witness the growth and transformation with my clients in the moments of psycho-therapeutic or psychoanalytic journey. It is fascinating and very rewarding work, and I am committed to it fully. This includes ongoing professional development, group and individual supervision as well as my capacity and willingness to self-explore and reflect on my...
  • Ron Dowd
    I feel it has chosen me. Although I worked for many years as a software engineer, I was reading Jung in my 20s and was fascinated, though I didn't understand much of it. I guess I was on the common "hero's journey" path, working in I.T. but also starting to make art. At a certain point I made a serious decision to study art and undertook my MA (Hons) thesis in landscape and imaginal thinking. It was this study that opened up the world of Gestalt to me, particularly its ideas of figure / ground. It was odd how my art works...
  • Donald Marmara
    I was motivated to train as a somatic psychotherapist following my own experience of anxiety and depression, and the frustration I felt with my lack of success in overcoming them via limited methods of counselling and psychotherapy. My search for healing led me to London, where I discovered a form of psychotherapy called somatic psychotherapy, or body psychotherapy, and by having individual sessions myself I was able to transform my life....
  • Philipa Thornton
    Thinking back, it was most likely my uncles suicide when I was a teenager. I wished I would have been able to help him more. This lead me to the helping field. I worked for many years to become a licensed psychologist to be of service to others in a meaningful way....
  • April Lewis
    For many years as a high school teacher, I worked with students who did the best that they could with what their life experiences had dealt them, with students who struggled to achieve their full potential. Many of these students had been labelled as troublemakers who impeded the progress of others in the classroom and therefore needed to be (and were) punished for not conforming or behaving. I felt some frustration that in schools, because time and resources are limited, I was not able to help such students as much as I would have...
  • Arna Stewart
    I have always been a curious observer of others so psychology made sense because it is a study of human experience and behaviour. Becoming a psychologist and counsellor has been a natural and enjoyable progression for me. ...
  • Sarah Harwood
    Since I was a little girl I have always been the person that people would confide in. When I started teaching music at the age of 16 my students would often talk to me about difficulties at home or school. This inspired me years later to complete a Master of Arts in Counselling, specialising in marriage, children, and families. Since then I have enjoyed helping people discover their strengths to lead contented and fulfilling lives....
  • Pam Danson
    had the good fortune to witness masters demonstrating a model which was incredibly transparent to me and made me feel – that’s do-able, that’s learnable, there are steps to follow and I could do that. I was invited to a group by a friend and felt I'd come home. ...
  • Lara Petrulis
    As I reflect on this question, I’m not sure if I can say that it was a definite choice that I made. Given my supportive family environment, it seemed a natural progression to continue offering care to others. I can remember as a young child facilitating discussions with my siblings - encouraging them to “communicate openly and express their feelings…” – I just needed to understand the theory behind the practice and perhaps refine my skills a tad! ...
  • Kate McMaugh
    I originally chose to study psychology as an 18 year old who was interested in "brains and behaviour" but I did not come from an academic family at all and really had little idea what a psychologist did and I don't think I had ever met one! However it turned out though my choice all those years ago was a lucky one, as I love what I do. As I got older and more aware of my profession it was the mind-body connection and the huge potential of the human being to heal that really hooked me into counselling. Psychology is such a broad...
  • Sarah Tuckett
    Back in 2006 I spiraled down into depression and anxiety due to chronic stress at work. Thankfully I saw an Integrative GP who took into account my lifestyle, nutrition and underlying health issues instead of just prescribing me antidepressants. This started me on an exploration of mainstream and complimentary techniques for managing my depression. I found that massage had a wonderfully calming effect on my nervous system and my mood. So I studied remedial massage and started my own part-time remedial massage practice. I...
  • Jonathan Tandos
    Most of my life people have been coming to me to share their stories and issues. In my first experience as a client in counselling I felt very inspired and began to consider whether I wanted to be a therapist myself. When I first started studying psychology it fit me, which was in stark contrast to what I'd studied before. It feels like its genuinely me, and I am very grateful for that....
  • Stacey McCraw
    I hold personal values centered around making positive contributions to the community in meaningful ways. I have always believed that mental health is just as important as physical health and should be given more attention. Often it doesn't really feel like work! ...
  • John Woodcock
    The first indication of my vocation as therapist that I remember occurred in my classroom as a beginning teacher. Other teachers complained loudly about the level of chaos and noise in my classes. I was cautioned and warned, re-trained, and coerced. And it continued! I also wondered why I could not control the class. Then I realized. I was in fact interested in what was going on, more than I wanted to control the chaos. This interest in others and in the unusual or uncontrollable aspects of life has continued to this day. The...
  • Reed Everingham
    My journey to psychotherapy has for the most part been intuitive. My first encounter with psychotherapy was during my early twenties. I worked with a wonderful practitioner for a number of years and this experience left a profound imprint. For the first time, I understood what it really felt like to repair, grow and change. This set me on a path of personal development – a path I am still walking - with the intention of understanding others and myself better. ...
  • Judy Christian
    I originally (back in the 70s) studied Social Work, but then returned a couple of years later to study Psychology. I have always enjoyed helping people to solve problems and improve their life, and it's great to see people learning to be more proactive and managing issues in their life more effectively. I still really enjoy my job and hope to continue for several more years!...
  • Heather Cavill Greer
    Mainly my own healing journey inspired me to help others. I am fascinated by the power of the mind, and the ability we all have to I have to survive and heal ourselves. I have always enjoyed listening and helping people so the transition from Cancer Nursing into psychotherapy was an easy one. ...
  • Helen Basili
    Social justice has always been very important to me and counselling was a way of enacting these values....
  • Dana Mitrovic
    I had always had a strong interest in understanding people. Not just from a perspective of what makes us struggle, but mostly to understand what makes us each unique. I found that developing my knowledge about the human mind, development and the way which our experiences shape us was immeasurably helpful in understanding myself and those around me. The relationship which you have in therapy is the most unique, which you will ever have the opportunity to develop. Every person has a path and a journey, and it is an absolute privilege...
  • Benjamin Shields
    It is a cliche, but I was one of those kids who wanted to 'help people' when he grew up. I couldn't think of any other profession that was as direct in this sense, as the work of a psychologist. So, that's what I pursued. As an 18-year-old, the long journey required to become a psychologist was difficult to comprehend. I studied for four years initially before undertaking a two-year internship, which involved regular supervision and study. After that, I completed a further two years of study for a masters program. Then still,...
  • Claire Stephensen
    As a child I dreamed of being a dancer or musician and in my teens, I was drawn to health. It was during my early 20s that I realised that it is impossible to separate mental health from the arts – which led me to studying a little bit of psychology before undertaking a Masters of Music Therapy. ...
  • Grace Lee
    I reached a point a few years ago, and having raised a family and learned to help my kids through their tough times, I thought I might be able to use those experiences to help others. So I applied to study counselling and I found I loved it. I also developed a much deeper understanding of myself in the process....
  • Mary A McIntyre
    Ever since I was a child i have had a passion and curiosity for understanding people and what makes us tick ! My own challenges, good therapy and healing modalities have helped me heal and grow over the years. I am a believer in good therapy....
  • Jodie Gale
    In the early nineties, I was working at a new age bookstore and crystal shop in Covent Garden in London, when I discovered a book called Swimming with Wild Dolphins. That day, I zipped out at lunch time and booked a flight to Dingle, a small fishing village on the South West Coast of Ireland where Fungie, a wild bottlenose dolphin had made his home. I continued to swim with him for 15 years, but it was this first encounter that I had what Maslow called a peak experience. In many ways, my spiritual awakening shone the light on the...
  • Amanda Jones
    I wanted to study psychology when I finished school but for various reasons I was unable to. After working for many years in small businesses and large corporations, I decided to revisit my interest in psychology. I have always been interested in people, their lives, struggles and often extraordinary resilience. No matter what my professional role, I have always found myself encouraging others to reach their potential, to fulfill their dreams and passions, and overcome self-limiting beliefs often developed during their childhood or...
  • Nicole Kinnaird
    My choice to study Social Work initially was due to a strong interest in working with children and the idea of having fun in my job was very important and appealing. Out of rebellion I decided I didn’t want to be a teacher (like everyone else in my family it seemed! – mother, father, step father, grandfather, aunts, uncles.) As I gained experience in working therapeutically with children and the adults in their lives I increasingly enjoyed working creatively with people of all ages and also with groups of people. Continuing...
  • Mano Suttner
    I did not choose it. It just happened just as birth and death and everything in between just happen. Our stories about choosing things are made up post facto. Nevertheless, often our conscious - or unconscious - intentions do manifest, and one of my life intentions has been to reduce suffering and to be part of creating abundance. ...
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